Australia's tropical diplomacy

Kathrine Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional


[Extract] The recent declaration of the Asian Century underplays the influence and engagement Australia has within the tropics – part of which includes Asia, but which incorporates an even more diverse array of societies. While the tropics can be defined according to climatic and isothermal demarcation, they are more generally considered to lie between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. According to this definition, the tropics include Central and Southern Africa; Northern Africa and the Middle East; the Caribbean; Central and South America; Oceania; South East Asia (including China); and South Asia.

Australia is intimately engaged with its tropical neighbours, especially with Oceania. However given its relative standard of living and ascendant Western culture, the power dynamic is not necessarily an equal one. This is no less so because of the sometimes-mixed messages that emerge in Australia's "tropical diplomacy". In Orientalism, Edward Said argues that the "relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony".

To what extent might Australia be engaging in a similar dynamic with its tropical neighbours?
Original languageEnglish
JournalRight Now: Human Rights in Australia
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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